Algeria – new EU staging post for sub-Saharan migrants

A Special IRIN report (25 October 2016) states that due to political turmoil in neighbouring countries, Algeria is becoming the new staging post for migrants who are looking to come to Europe via the Central Mediterranean. The Algerian Government claims there are currently 25,000 sub-Saharan migrants in the country but local NGOs believe the number closer to 100,000.

According to journalist Leila Beratto, the migrants see Algeria as a transit stop after their long trek northwards: “They remain in Algeria only long enough to recover their strength, save money, and prepare for the final stage of their journey to Europe,” she says. It’s a process that can take months, even years, but Beratto claims, “When an attempt fails, they return, work for a while, and then they try again.”

IRIN states that “Europe is aware of the risk that Algeria poses to its goal of reducing migrant arrivals via the Central Mediterranean, now the main route to its external borders.”

Under the Partnership Framework with third countries adopted in June this year, “Algeria,” IRIN reports, “was identified as one of 16 “priority” countries with which the European Commission wants to reach deals. By offering “incentives” to the priority countries, the Framework seeks, in return, cooperation in preventing migrants reaching Europe’s shores and in accepting back deportees. Countries that refuse to sign-on risk what the commission calls “negative incentives”.”

The full IRIN Special Report can be read by clicking here:

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